A while back there was a question on one of the wood carving forums, about how you hold your knife. One of the options was "like pencil". As soon as I read this, dismissed it as silly. How could one possibily cut wood with a carving knife while holding it like a pencil. I never gave it much thought until recently. Several weeks ago as I watched a very experienced, and respected wood carver, carve a small eye with some very fine detail. Dang! he was holding his knife like a pencil.
This got me thinking, and then trying it myself. I did a little experiment. I tried to write my name in wood, by holding the knife just like I do when doing some whittling. I did it, but it was not the easy. And the result was not in a flowing single connected cut. I could never forge my name by holding the knife like that. Next I tried to write my name in the wood, by holding the knife in the same manner that I hold a pencil when I sign my name. The results were impressive. Remember, I said that I had whitnessed this technique in carving the detail in a carving. Included in this detail are the eyes. When I remember this technique, I use it. I just seem to have more controll when I hold the knife like I hold the pencil. Most knives that I have are not shaped any where near that of a pencil. Their handles are short and fat. Here's some knives that are made for holding like a pencil. The knife maker is, JIM MAYES from Phelan CA. For more specific information on his knifes he can be reached at, firstname.lastname@example.org